New Yorkers are facing an unprecedented convergence of housing crises. The statewide eviction and foreclosure moratorium has expired after 22 months and hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are burdened with rent, mortgage, and utility arrears that have accumulated during the economic hardships brought on by COVID-19. Worse still, more than 92,000 New Yorkers are experiencing homelessness.
We will need multiple approaches to resolve these interrelated crises. We’re scrambling to replenish the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program and the Homeowner Assistance Program with State and federal funds to cover unpaid housing costs, and to provide legal services to help New Yorkers stay in their homes. Yet even as we work to mitigate the worst effects of COVID-19, we know that long before the pandemic, homelessness and evictions of New Yorkers who were unable to pay their rent were already at crisis levels.